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Chasing an interesting Dragon

A new opportunity has opened up for me – it’s proving an interesting month!

When I started work with Librivox all those years ago, my ulterior motive was ultimately finding paid voice work. It’s something I haven’t tried terribly hard at, to be honest, but every now and again I pop back to LV and tape another chapter. I certainly never managed to find the enthusiasm to rack up the hours and hours of service that some people have managed over there.

But still I keep getting weird and flatting plaudits for my voice and the work I have done. I still get one or two emails a month out of the blue thanking me for the few things I have made available.

And then another interesting project began last year. Out of the cream of Librivox arose Iambik Audiobooks – with many of the same people and processes of Librivox, but with contemporary texts, a more professional approach, a higher quality of recording… and… actual money! With time on my hands, I signed up this summer, and submitted an audition for an interesting text.

I heard back last week that I was successful in that audition, with an incredibly flattering quote from the book’s publisher: “His voice is like butter! so perfect!”

And whilst googling, I found the book’s author has a very engaging Livejournal page and talked about the project publicly. So. I thought. If he can, I can!

Cover of "Chasing the Dragon" novella - a red background with a pencil drawing of a dragon wrapped around the title wordsSo, I am currently making an audiobook of Nicholas Kaufmann’s Chasing the Dragon. It’s a fantastic book, and when I got the proof copy to prepare for recording it, I motored through it in just an afternoon. The lead character is engaging, with a couple of interesting twists that really get you on her side. By the middle of the third chapter, it’s completely unputdownable, you really have a drive to get on and find out who wins. With this kinda novel, you have more than a sneaking suspicion you can guess who’s going to win, but the plot keeps you right to the wire, and you definitely find yourself unable to guess how the “right” outcome could possibly result from where you get to.

What with everything else that’s going on, I really have to get on with making this recording before the rest of life intervenes, so hopefully it will be out soon!

Tweets on 2011-08-28

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Product endorsement: corn on the cob forks

Not letting unemployment get in the way of shopping, last week, I bought some of these off Amazon.

We’ve been eating a lot of corn on the cob since I found them in the freezer aisle. I’d previously thought of them as a summer only, barbecue type of thing, and bought the loose corn in frozen bags, or occasionally in tins (for making sweetcorn chowder or sweetcorn fritters, in theory, although I can’t recall ever actually doing so). But the mini-cobettes from the freezer bag taste really good, microwave really quickly at the end of cooking time, and are just slightly annoying to eat using standard cutlery.

So to overcome that eating annoyance, I had been looking out for corn picks for a few weeks, and just not seeing them in any of the old familiar places, so I resorted to the internet. And the ones I chose are lovely bright colours, make the job of eating corn on the cob much easier, and most cleverly of all, they clip together to keep the sharp prongs safely concealed when they are stored in the cutlery drawer.

The Amazon reviews all point out that they are good for toddlers too, although I cannot really comment on that.

Ooh, lovely

Yesterday I bought a new fountain pen from Andy’s Pens along with a bottle of green ink. The idea is that I will use it for marking if and when I get into teaching, but there’s always the chance I can use it to write mad letters to politicians.

As before, Andy was super quick in replying to emails, and got the stuff in the post the same day, with the consequence that it was with me this morning, less than 24 hours after I ordered it. It writes lovely, it does. And now my fingers are a little green-stained, as my hands are not steady enough to fill a pen without spreading the ink a little further than intended. Still, bottled ink and permanent cartridges are so much cheaper a way of buying ink than plastic cartridges.

Andy has some lovely vintage pens which I sometimes look at enviously, but rest assured my new pen was a little more budget conscious.

Now all I have to do is not lose it!

I also took the time to treat myself to a nice new journal for writing things in – these Penguinesque note-books are things of beauty – but they are much smaller than I imagined. Almost but not quite small enough to fit in a back pocket, they also have a little pockety thing of their own stuck into the back page. I bought The Invisible Man; regular readers will recall I made a free audiobook of the H G Wells classic for Librivox a number of years ago now. (Since I recorded it, nearly 200,000 people have listened to it, and it has received many kind reviews. Also one or two not so kind reviews, mostly about the background noise. I have invested in a better microphone since then)

Tweets on 2011-08-27

  • Can you help LDV arrange a Lib Drinks event at #ldconf in Birmingham? discuss in forum here: http://t.co/GDgGVEZ #
  • Dressing for dinner is less impressive when you have essentially spent the day #NIFOC #
  • For various reasons, I have all the keys this weekend. Church keys and print cave keys. Jangling like a jailer. #
  • @rfenwick pff, what are you going to do when it actually gets properly cold? it's still over 19 degrees out there, daytimes! in reply to rfenwick #
  • @DrewCR2 that's a little on the creepy side. But, erm. Nice sheets. :) in reply to DrewCR2 #
  • Motoring through some to-do list items that have been hanging around for ages. Doesn't have to be daylight to shine shoes. #
  • Charlie Brooker to make spoof detective drama 'A Touch of Cloth' http://t.co/p5QarQP << ahahaha! #

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